Finding shoes that are comfortable enough to ride in all day long can be a nightmare for people with wide feet, so we’ve decided to round up what’s available out there.
A couple of years ago, darrenleroy began a road.cc forum thread about wide shoes because he was struggling to find any that didn’t make his feet ‘fall asleep’ while riding. Judging by the responses he got, getting comfortable shoes is a common problem for people with wider feet, and it’s no joke.
One option is to go to a bike fit specialist like Cyclefit where a technician will measure the length, width and arch length of your foot, your standing and seated arch height, and suggest the best shoes for you. They’ll give you the option of having your own custom footbed created.
If you don’t think that’s right for you and you just want to find some wider options, here’s what’s available. There’s no substitute for trying shoes on before you buy them, of course, because what’s right for one person isn’t necessarily the best solution for someone else.
If you have wide feet and you’ve found something that works for you, please let us know in the comments section down below.
Bont shoes are interesting in that they’re built around a cycle-specific last that’s arguably closer to the shape of a foot than most others out there, hence their distinctive looks. We’ve always found Bonts to be fairly roomy in the toe box and we know of people who’ve needed a wide fit in some brands taking a standard fit Bont.
With Bonts the sole extends upwards around the side of your foot, creating a little tub. It’s common for brands to mould the sole upwards at the heel section, but less common towards the front of the foot. The idea is that this “ensures neutral positioning of the forefoot and alleviates common issues associated with over pronation and supination [such as knee injuries and hip and lower back pain].”
There’s only so much space between the sides of the shoe for your feet to fit into, but Bont soles are heat mouldable so you can give yourself a bit of extra room in tight areas, within reason.
Bont makes its shoes in stock, narrow and wide fits. There’s a simple way to find out the best size for you which involves tracing around your foot on a piece of paper and measuring the dimensions. You input your figures on Bont’s website and you’re given the right size.
Bont’s UK distributor stocks the wider models in the most popular sizes (42-46), and up to size 49 in certain models.
If your feet are off the scale you can have Bont make you a pair of custom shoes.
Bontrager doesn’t bring wide fit shoes into the UK anymore.
Giro offers several of its shoes in a ‘high volume’ (or HV) fit for foot widths from D-EE, if that means anything to you (personally, the last time I had my foot width measured was for a pair of Clarks Commandos in 1978).
From the road range, you can get the Trans E70 HV (£159.99) and the Apeckx II HV (above, £119.99), and there are mountain bike options too (go to the Giro website and tap ‘HV’ into the search box to see all that’s available).
We’ve generally found Lake shoes to be roomy in the toe box, the front end being rounded rather than pointy (technical terms!), and fairly high volume.
If that’s not enough for you, Lake offers its entire road range in wide options, although it’s easier to get hold of some models than others in the UK.
UK distributor Today's Cyclist stocks wide versions of the high-end CX 402 (£370) (we recently reviewed the standard model), the CX332 (£289) and the CX145 (£175) road shoes. It also stocks wide versions of these mountain bike shoes: MX161, MX145 (£175)and MXZ303.
Lake dealers can order wide models from Today's Cyclist at the start of the season for delivery with initial stock. The distributor can also get wide models from the Lake warehouse in Holland very quickly in season as and when required.
Italy’s Northwave offers several of its road shoes in wide fits. Of these, the £259.99 Extreme (below) is the easiest to get hold of. This is a lightweight race shoe with a unidirectional carbon sole.
Northwave also makes the Evolution Plus (£159.99) and the Sonic 2 Plus (£109.99) in wide fits. Northwave's UK distributor doesn't keep them in stock but you could order them via a Northwave dealer.
Both of Shimano’s Road Competition level shoes, the S-Phyre RC9 (below, £319.99) and the RC7 (£169.99), shoes can accommodate wider feet pretty well, and if the standard fit isn’t broad enough you can go for a wide fit in both.
The RP3 (£89.99) is available in a wide fit option too.
A wide fit gives you 5-6% greater circumference than a regular fit in the mid-foot and forefoot.
You might have heard that Sidi shoes are small for any given size and that you should size up. We’ve not found that to be true in terms of length, but we have found the standard Sidi last to be narrow.
Standard Sidi shoes are based on a D width foot. Sidi offers what it calls a ‘Mega’ fit too, which is an EE to EEE width. It’s 4mm wider across the ball of the foot than a standard Sidi fit, the instep is higher and the heel cup is wider. The Ergo 4 (above, £275) and Genius 7 (£170) road shoes are both offered in Mega versions.
Specialized only carries its standard width shoes in the UK. It’s worth noting, though, that the toe box volume is pretty generous, reducing only for the S-Works 6 and Sub 6 road and mountain shoes.
If you have wide feet, could you help out by offering advice on which shoes have worked (and not worked) for you? Let us know in the comments section.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.